A Joplin company separates itself from one of its former dealers who owes thousands of dollars to a customer. Holden Buildings' corporate headquarters is in Joplin, but has dealers elsewhere in Missouri, as well as in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Late this afternoon, corporate officials decided to refund a down payment to Karen Weimer of Arkansas.
But this was after we began our investigation into the matter, and after Weimer says Holden corporate refused any responsibility over what happened. Weimer says companies like Holden need to keep better tabs of their dealers.
"I want to warn people that something like this could happen," says Weimer.
Pictured within this story is the "tiny home" that Weimer says has been a huge problem. She has a receipt, made out to her daughter, from Jimmy Payne, who was a Holden Buildings "authorized" sales representative. Payne's business card included the Holden Building's name.
Weimer says the tiny home was never delivered to her or her daughter.
"We had to go inside the office that says, 'Welcome to Holden Buildings.' We had to go in there," says Weimer.
Jimmy Payne has a past, documented in Arkansas' court system, involving money disputes with various people. An attorney representing Weimer and her daughter says Holden Buildings needs to better background check authorized dealers.
"They're just letting anybody, who wants to stick their sign in the ground somewhere, sell their product," says attorney Rick Woods.
A Holden Company corporate manager told us by phone that authorized dealers buy Holden storage sheds, then sell to customers. The Holden corporate manager told us the company doesn't even make tiny homes. But the attorney for Weimer and her daughter says Holden corporate is still responsible for Payne.
"You go to the new car dealer and they have a small area to the side for used cars," says Woods. "If it's a Chevy dealer, he might have a Ford or a Toyota sitting there. If the employee of that dealership sells you a used Toyota, takes your money and doesn't deliver the vehicle, does that mean the Chevy dealer is not on the hook?"
An attorney representing Holden Buildings says the company is still not claiming responsibility for what happened, however the full $7,000 down payment (plus subsequent attorney fees and other fees) will be refunded.
According to Woods, Payne's whereabouts is unknown.
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